Fit Girl Friday: Protect Your Skin With Good Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month! What we put in our mouths not only affects our mind and body but also our skin and who doesn’t want their skin to glow? There are so many healthy alternatives when dining out such as shopping at your local market or grocery store and then eating at home.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want if you don’t see it on the menu when you are dining out. Most restaurants have fruits and vegetables they can cut up for you and also lean proteins they can cook in a fresh way.

By feeding your skin through nutrition it becomes healthy and can protect itself and the body from the toxins.  When the skin is compromised by the environment, smoking, caffeine and stress, it becomes dehydrated and wore down, making you look dull, tired, and feeling dry. These skin issues lead to pre-mature aging, and even some skin cancers. All of these skin issues can be fixed with the correct nutrition and home-care.

Proper nutrition for the skin includes a diet of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals - throw in a workout and you’ve hit a homerun!

Antioxidants are chemicals that protect cells by neutralizing external forces (such as damage from the sun, pollution, wind, and temperature) and internal factors (for example, emotions, metabolism, and the presence of excess oxygen). They are necessary because they combat free radicals. Foods with antioxidants include berries, black beans, avocados and more.

Vitamins C and E. Among the most important new dermatologic discoveries is the power of vitamins to counter the effects of sun exposure. They have been noted to reduce photo-damage, wrinkles and help by reducing the damage caused by free radicals, a harmful byproduct of sunlight, smoke, and pollution.

Foods with vitamin C: oranges, guava, red and green peppers, kiwi, strawberries

Foods with vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, peanuts, cooked spinach, dried apricots, oils

Vitamin A: is necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue.

Without it, you’ll notice the difference. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin A. Topical vitamin A is the form that makes a real difference in your skin. Medical studies show a reduction in lines and wrinkles, good acne control from using creams containing vitamin A.

Foods with vitamin A: carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens (kale, spinach), butternut squash

Vitamin K: is the nutrient responsible for helping blood clot. Topical application of a gel containing a derivative of vitamin K, as well as vitamins A, C, and E, is effective in reducing dark under-eye circles while also decreasing wrinkles.

Foods with vitamin K: dark leafy greens, scallions, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, pickled cucumbers, and prunes.

Vitamin B complex:  When it comes to skin, the single most important B vitamin is biotin, a nutrient that forms the basis of skin, nail, and hair cells. Without adequate amounts, you may end up with dermatitis (an itchy, scaly skin reaction) or sometimes even hair loss. Even a mild deficiency causes symptoms.

Foods with vitamin B complex: bananas, eggs, oatmeal, rice

You can find these vitamins at your local organic market, farmers market or Whole Foods Market, Life Grocery, R. Thomas and juice stores such as dtox shop.

Minerals- Selenium: A number of scientists believe this mineral plays a key role in skin cancer prevention.

Foods with Selenium: whole-grain cereals, seafood, garlic, and eggs.

Follow these guidelines for glowing skin from the inside out:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Use gentle products to cleanse your skin (exfoliation of dead skin cells helps bring up new skin as well as creating blood flow and circulation for ultimate nutrition of the skin).
  • Always wear an SPF of 25 or higher.
  • Eat a balanced, low inflammatory diet (loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins).
  • Move your body – exercise.

Read more about organic food on Best Self’s website. For healthy recipes check out Best Bites this month!

Anne-Marie is inspired to help others lead more balanced lives through education and the promotion of wellness based programs. Following her passion for health and wellness, she became a Certified Personal Trainer and has played upon those strengths in her various professional positions of sales/marketing in the fitness and spa industry, fitness based events and corporate wellness programs. She genuinely cares for other people and is the “go-to” girl to friends and clients regarding exercise and diet.
Follow her on Twitter: @am_sunshine

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